Wednesday, March 28, 2012

If truth is beauty, how come no one gets their hair done in a library?

I'm going back blonde bitches. I have been feeling a bit dull with my more natural hair colour and want to brighten up a bit... I feel like I'm not really myself without my golden locks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Don't tell a man how to do a man's job

I heard a pretty disturbing thing over the weekend that takes the term ‘control freak’ to the next level, in my opinion.

No one likes doing chores, be it vacuuming, dusting, washing up, hanging clothes on the line, weeding or mowing the lawn. Well, no one I know particularly likes housework anyway. So no one wants to be told that they’ve done a crappy job of it.

So when I hear that my very hard-working neighbour is copping an earful from his very controlling, bossy, particular wife about how he cuts their lawn, I was a bit gob-smacked.

The way I see it is that guys generally do a better job outside than women in the mowing, pruning, clearing of gutters department (this is purely in my experience to be clear!) so I am more than happy to let my husband do those jobs and I am thankful that he does such a good job, even though I know he finds it an annoying task at times. 

I know that lots of women mow their lawn, but I am a girly girl and I have always thought that the yard is the man's domain. So this blog is written in that vein.

For a man to be ridiculed by his wife about his outdoor masterpiece is a bit surprising to me. I just had to explore this slightly bazaar incident.

Let me paint a picture for you.

On Sunday my husband had just finished mowing the front lawn when our friendly neighbour (let’s call him Jim for privacy purposes) came over to see if he could borrow the mower as his wasn’t working properly.

It wasn’t a problem at all, but he told Ben that he would have to set the blades to a particular height as to achieve the desired length of grass that his wife requested. He then went on to say that it was ‘written in blood’ that he would not cut their lawn too short nor too long (this was after he had an apparent mowing incident where he didn’t please her) or he would suffer the consequences.

Not too long, not too short - it MUST be just right!

So this man, who slaves away in his yard every weekend, plays with his kids, walks the dog and runs a successful business basically is on the tightest leash ever. He may not enjoy doing chores around the house, but I’d guess that if he didn’t do them, and do them damn well, that he would probably be subjected to 50 lashes and sent to bed without dinner.

I have often seen them walking around the perimeter of their home talking about things and seeing her pointing things out to him – now I think she’s saying things like (*cue condescending tone) “Gee you didn’t really scrub hard enough there, did you love?” or “See those flowers you planted – one isn’t growing at the precise growth rate I’d like it to and it’s falling behind the others. Rip it out.”

For a woman who is a full-time, stay at home mother to two small daughters, you’d think she’d have enough to worry about in her day. Obviously not.

So next time, I’ll be paying Jim the ultimate complement by telling him how fantastic his lawn is (which it is - it's immaculate!). If he can’t get any lovin’ from his wife, he should at least get some from his lawn.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bogus bellies create body image debate

A pregnant model (L) and a non-pregnant model with a prosthetic belly (R)

This week I heard a story about how some fashion houses are using non-pregnant women to model their maternity ware.

This means that fit, non-preggers women with not a hint of baby belly are donning prosthetic ones to give the illusion that they are expecting.

Mothers have hit back suggesting that these models offer unrealistic images for women to compare themselves with. Well, duh! Of course it’s unrealistic, because the model isn’t actually pregnant!

Under the media code of conduct for body image, fashion houses and advertisers don’t have to disclose whether or not a model is wearing a false pregnant belly, but they are required not to display unrealistic images.

Melbourne-based Soon Maternity features a slim, 26-year-old non-pregnant woman, as the face of its autumn/winter range.

A spokeswoman for Soon Maternity said the company preferred to use pregnant models, but they were not always around on the time and day it needed them. To me, this makes perfect sense and as a woman interested in starting a family soon, it doesn’t bother me whether or not a model really is pregnant or not – they are simply trying to show how a garment could look on a pregnant figure.

Let’s face it – every woman is different and carries herself differently from other pregnant women during pregnancy – some have a tiny bump that is invisible from behind and others blow up all over.

Sales and marketing manager for maternity brand Pea in a Pod, Nicky Birkill said she tried to use pregnant models wherever possible, but used non-pregnant women every couple of years. I am aware of a local maternity ware website that uses a model that is obviously non pregnant because she is eternally 6 months gone in the photos used on the site, getting no bigger from month to month.

Some fashion houses have spoken out saying that they only use pregnant models because the prosthetic bellies look awkward and don’t allow for the designer clothing to fit right.

A maternity spread as featured on - do you think this model is pregnant? She is! 36 weeks to be exact!

Modelling agencies are now getting in on the act saying that they have plenty of pregnant women on their books and are peeved that non-pregnant models are being hired instead of the real deal.

Again, every pregnant body looks different – why can’t a woman retain an immaculate figure while she’s up the duff save a bump at the front? Again, my point is that each body is different. 

Parent Wellbeing founder and psychologist Jodie Benveniste has been quoted in the media stating that non-pregnant women would not necessarily represent the pregnant body and all the changes it went through during pregnancy, but don’t people looking at an ad get that? They understand that it is merely a representation of a pregnant body?

I myself don’t see what all the hoo-ha is but would love reader’s thoughts regarding the topic (especially if you’re pregnant). Do you have a massive issue with this?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Personality +

"Split Personality" by Steven Wilson

Over the weekend I read a really interesting column by Q Weekend senior feature writer Fances Whiting on the multiple personalities of her husband titled “How many men do you live with?”

She had names for each of his personas – the ‘hoverer’, the‘re-packer’, the ‘accuser’ and so on depending on her husband’s actions and how he reacts to certain situations.

This got me to thinking about my personalities – it’s easy to pick out those in others and be, you know, a bit critical, but I think sussing out your own personalities will help you to control them when they start showing signs of developing a mind of their own...

So here it goes…

What I would probably call my most dominant personality, this girl always finds things to stress about. She is a very frustrating person to have around because she’s often on edge and snappy, which annoys her husband and people she works with. Even though she is aware that she is stressing, she finds it difficult to calm down often getting herself into anxious fits of destruction. She tends to dwell on the negative.

This side of my personality likes to lecture people about being super healthy and maintaining a good level of fitness. She is interesting in holistic and organic cooking, nutrition and different forms of exercise and meditation, but at times, fails to practice what she preaches, occasionally stuffing her face with chips, chocolate or cheese (this often happens when her enemy the Stresser comes along). She likes to take loads of supplements and vitamins and this makes her feel glowing and full of health.

Paying almost daily visits, this girl helps bring confidence and clarity to things I really want in life. She focuses only on the positives and eliminates negative vibes, only looking forward to things that will bring happiness and light to potentially bad situations. She is the one who grasps on to dreams and things I want to achieve and with her optimism, helps to make dreams into reality.

Unfortunately, there is a side of me that can pretty much cry on cue… and mean it. She is a cry baby who hates fighting and disagreements, will shed tears over sad stories on the news, beautiful stories about children or people who have fought through illness. She will get upset over seeing road kill, or stories she has heard about animal cruelty… She often cries over mistakes and things that have happened in the past and on the flip side, will cry happy tears over milestones (birthdays, anniversaries, achievements etc). She often needs to be reassured and can be highly sensitive.

She basically just wants to be better than everyone at everything.

Those are just a few – I am made up of several more (some I'd prefer to keep behind closed doors, such as a particular girl that comes out only in the bedroom for my husband) but I’d say those are the more dominant ones.

I’d say we should all go through this exercise of acknowledging our own multiple personalities before we start criticising those of others. Hey, it might just be the reality check you need.

To read Ms Whiting’s column in full go here:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Prince Charles

Well today, I am very happy to say, that it is my dog’s fourth birthday today.

It seems like just yesterday that we saw an ad in the Trading Post for Cocker Spaniel puppies bred in the Gold Coast hinterland and decided we wanted to ad to our little family.

Like every other proud parent, I am intending on spoiling my little one rotten. Pig’s ears, new toys, an extra-long walk this afternoon… the works.

Some people blog and gush over their babies, well I write about Charlie.

I will say that this dog is more like a human than most kids his age are. He so much personality that he has a range of different barks so we know when he is scared or angry. He spends 90% of his time inside with us (just how he likes it) and thinks that being put out in the yard is a death sentence.

At 10 weeks old - Charlie was in a GC Bulletin pet feature

He sleeps inside and gets fed breakfast and dinner and has a play routine that works in well with our daily schedules. He asks to go outside and is very accommodating and puts on his best behaviour when we have visitors.

Yes we might sound crazy, but we really believe that this animal is giving us great training for when we have kids.

I am not the only one who dotes over their dog – my old Year 10 science teacher had two German Shepherds that slept in her bed with her… not sure how her husband felt about it, but I think he must have loved it as much as she did. They never wanted children (human children that is) – all they needed was their dogs and they loved them unconditionally.

We would do anything for Charlie, he’s one of the family. Our parents have treated their dogs with the same love and affection and they all lived to ripe old ages, happy til the last wag.

So thanks for indulging me in this little post dedicated to my favourite little hound – Charlie your bark may be loud and your business does stink, but we will forever love you and your crazy ways! 

March 12, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Digging myself out of a hole

Some days I feel like I get into a rut and I just can’t seem to get myself out of it.

Ruts suck. 

Whether it be writer’s block at work, a fight with my husband, anxiousness caused by a whole myriad of things – it’s very easy for me to get myself into a position where I am struggling to keep my head above water.

For instance this week has been one of those weeks where each day has been an uphill battle.

We had a massive weekend and as a result, I feel as though I’ve had a five-day hangover. In reality I actually have had a five-day hangover. It’s made me feel sick, tired, agitated, regretful and in pain (literally) which has just turned my mood to shit. It has affected my work, my relationships and changed my current view on life from cheery and optimistic to dull and crappy.

I find that when I am in a rut, old things I used to dwell on resurface and things I wish I’d never done seem to haunt me over and over.

So I’ve resolved to do a few things to help myself (to be precise, my mind and body) function a bit better and help enhance my mental state:

a)      flush out my system with green tea and chlorophyll extract

b)      eat as healthily as possible

c)      get tonnes of sleep

d)     start attending Pilates classes / exercise every day if I can manage it

e)      stop nit-picking over minor things other people do that piss me off

f)       breathe more deeply and calmingly

            g)      do things for others

I am hoping that, by this weekend, I will be back to my old self and out of the trenches.

Also, I love this Hemingway quote, which I think will help me on the straight and narrow: 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Can-do, will pash

You’ve got to love the article on the Courier Mail website this morning.

Can-do Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman has spoken out regarding his public displays of affection if he becomes Queensland’s next premier.

If you’re like me, you’re already sick to death of hearing the political crap on TV and radio with each respective party slagging each other. One thing I have noticed is that Newman’s wife Lisa features prominently in these campaigns (both good and bad).

The article said that Mr Newman hit commercial radio stations in Townsville on Wednesday, where he was asked about the affection he shows his wife Lisa when they are out in public.

He told voters to expect to see more of the same if he wins this month’s election.

 "Well, I love her," he told Mix FM.

"I only have eyes for her. I think there will be plenty of pashing.

"The fact that she likes to kiss me and I kiss her back, I don't think that is the problem.

"I think the problem has been that I've got a hand that tends to go below the waist and that has sort of attracted some interest, far too much interest."

BLAHHHHHH! TMI!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, let’s be a bit professional here Can-do. You are asking people to vote for you as premier of our fine state – no one wants to SEE you or HEAR you talking about groping your wife’s nether regions.  

I tend to think also, that when I see images of Lisa (although I am sure she’s a lovely lady) she comes across as a bit cray-cray, so god knows what they get up to behind closed doors…

All I can say to Can-do is this: as the daughter of a man who has worked on many a political campaign, I believe that this kind of PR is not necessarily a good thing for your political aspirations. Keep your hands by your side and keep the kisses to pecks, not pashes. 

What do you think?

Crystal-crusted Chanel - Paris Fashion Week

I can't help but wonder if the crystal eyebrows that the models at Chanel's autumn/winter show at Paris Fashion Week wore yesterday are comfortable or not... Miranda Kerr really doesn't look all that thrilled about them! Featuring gem tones, heavy embellishments and multi-coloured accents, Mr Karl Lagerfeld has pushed boundaries yet again.

 Coloured panelling and shades of grey were used on several of the pieces shown.

Models walked down the icy crystal-themed runway that was inspired by an art exhibition Mr Lagerfeld recently attended.

Karl Lagerfeld - what a cool cat!

Miranda looked much more comfy after she changed into her usual gorgeous attire and returned to her Paris hotel after the show.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Girl crush: Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis gives me girly goosebumps

Ever since I saw the hilarious Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I have loved Mila Kunis. I found her really annoying on That 70s Show, but now, I can’t get enough of her. Yes, I even love her as the voice of Meg in Family Guy

Being the ex-ballerina, I really enjoyed Black Swan – I know it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and I thought Mila did a great job of embracing the dark, competitive side of the dance industry.

In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar US (their Fabulous at Every Age edition), Mila said her preparation for Black Swan involved her shedding 9 kgs and since then, her body has not been the same.

‘My shape is different. When I got down to 95 pounds, I was muscles, like a little brick house, but skin and bones. When I gained it back, it went to completely different areas. I’d be happy if my arse got bigger. All the weight that left my chest went to my side hip, my stomach,’ she said.

She goes on to say that she would have to think pretty hard if another role came up that would require her to transform her body in such a drastic way. Even so, she’d be up for the challenge.

'I’m not going to say I’d look forward to it, but if an offer came along, I’d do it,’ she said.

When it comes to plastic surgery, the 28-year-old says she is currently adverse to cosmetic procedures, but wouldn’t rule them out in the future.

‘I will not put a needle in my body unless I have a medical reason. But ask me in ten years. Right now, I’m like, “I’m going to embrace it,” but … I’m probably going to want to have something done. I have no doubt,’ she said. 

Apart from her blossoming movie career (her recent movie Friends with Benefits with Justin Timberlake was a hit in theatres and she is has also recently competed the Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful with Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and James Franco) she has just been named the new face of fashion house Dior, and shot a campaign for the brand in Paris last week.

I am glad we are seeing more of her in gutsy roles (like Black Swan) and I for one count myself devoted fan. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mooloolaba trip

We love visiting Mooloolaba and usually go up a couple of times a year. Here are a few snaps from our most recent five-day trip in Feb. I can't wait to start planning our next getaway!

At home - yard

So last weekend we finally got around to starting our landscaping. We ended up getting a whole side done, which is more than what I thought we would achieve!

For both sides of the house, we've decided to put down stepping stones and pebbles to cut back on the amount of mowing etc we have to do. Also I just think it looks prettier!

We've gone with a mixed pebble called "Fruit Salad" which has white, charcoal, beige and brown tones. The stepping stones are a charcoal colour with a matte finish (see below). They are 40cm x 40cm.

Once these were laid, the pebbles went down over the top. The pics of these show very dirty pebbles (they look more like a rusty brown colour) and don't show the true tones yet (I think we need a downpour of rain to give them a good clean).

The pebbles were put down in and around the stepping stones

Our neighbour's pool is on the other side of that fence, so to avoid sloshy muddy grass down the side, I think using stone down this side especially, is a much better option and it gives it a clean finish.

We really only go down this side to access the bins (they are sitting on a slab of 3 x 3 stepping stones) but we might get some potten plants to sit between the fence posts down the track to liven it up a bit.

The finished product!
I am excited to start the other side (clothesline side) next weekend where we will be featuring the same pebbles/pavers but in a different juxtapositon.

Thursday, March 1, 2012